Bombardier has begun the first set of systems tests and simulations for the C Series airliner in its systems integration rig, known also as the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (Ciasta) or “Aircraft 0,” the company announced Wednesday. Test data on such systems as the engine and electrics are confirming that the aircraft development program remains on schedule to reach “key” performance targets as Bombardier’s effort to achieve entry-into-service (EIS) late next year continues, it added.
Bombardier said it expects to test some 90 percent of the C Series’ systems on the Ciasta—located at the company’s Mirabel, Quebec plant—in the first half of the year. It plans “progressive” commissioning of the systems throughout the year to ensure continued aircraft validation on the ground, before flight testing.
“Over 200 components and systems for the C Series are being tested worldwide, and I am pleased to say that the data received so far is confirming our key performance targets and exceeding our expectations in many areas,” said Rob Dewar, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s vice president and general manager for the C Series.
Pratt & Whitney has run more than 1,300 hours of full engine testing on the C Series’ PW1500G engine, added Dewar. Bombardier has installed the first set of final assembly tooling at Mirabel, and engineers have begun assembly simulation exercises to “optimize” learning. The C Series boss characterized the pre-validation of the assembly process, as well as “up front” environmental health and safety requirements, as a “key focus.”
“The development team for the C Series is extremely engaged, committed, working hard and making outstanding progress toward achieving first flight approximately one year prior to the EIS,” said Dewar.
Although 11 customers have placed orders, options and other commitments for as many as 317 aircraft, the program’s firm order count still stands at 138. Nevertheless, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft senior vice president Chet Fuller characterized the sales effort as “right on track.”
“Amongst [our customers] we have major network carriers, national carriers, premium airlines serving city-center airports, a low-cost airline, leasing companies and a full-service provider to airline partners,” noted Fuller. “This diversity of customers speaks volumes about the flexibility of the C Series aircraft family and its ability to meet air transport requirements worldwide in the 100- to 149-seat market segment.”
Fuller added that the company remains engaged in negotiations with 70 prospective operators around the world.